RENO — The city of Reno is urging the public to avoid contact with Virginia Lake, saying its water is contaminated as a result of an algae bloom.
Caution signs are being posted around the lake, which is popular with walkers, joggers and dog owners.
City officials say the drought, the lake’s low water level and high phosphorous levels have combined to create ideal conditions for the algae bloom.
They say the presence of the algae promotes the growth of a class of toxins known as microcystins, and levels of it have been found in concentrations sufficient to pose a health risk to people as well as fish, birds and mammals, especially when ingested.
The public also is being urged to keep dogs away from the lake’s waters.